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Thursday, Sep 18, 2014

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SQUARE ENIX announces plans to release the FINAL FANTASY XIII trilogy for Windows PCs, saying the first release will come on October 9th, and the third game should be out by the  spring. They already offer preorders on Steam, and here's word: "FINAL FANTASY XIII expands on the rich traditions of the series, with Producer Yoshinori Kitase, Director Motomu Toriyama, Character Designer Tetsuya Nomura and Art Director Isamu Kamikokuryo combining their creativity to deliver a beautiful FINAL FANTASY universe. Additionally, Composer Masashi Hamauzu presents a sweeping soundtrack while Movie Director Takeshi Nozue and his team of artists adorn the game with seamless cinematic sequences." Steam also offers system requirements:

OS: Windows® XP SP2 or later
Processor: 2GHz Dual Core CPU
Memory: 1 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA® Geforce® 8 Series/ ATI Radeon™ HD 2000 series VRAM 256MB or later
DirectX: Version 9.0c
Hard Drive: 30 GB available space
Sound Card: Sound card compatible with DirectX® 9.0c

OS: Windows® Vista/ 7/ 8
Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Quad (2.66 GHz)/ AMD Phenom™ II X4 (2.8 GHz) processor
Memory: 1 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA® Geforce® GTX™ 460/ ATI Radeon™ HD 5870
DirectX: Version 11
Hard Drive: 30 GB available space
Sound Card: DirectX 11 compatible sound card
Additional Notes: A game controller using Xinput is reccomended for this game. (If using a DirectInput based controller, please use the driver side key configuration to adjust settings as required )

Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director's Cut Released

Harebrained Schemes announces the release of Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director's Cut, saying the standalone release of the Dragonfall expansion is now available for Windows, OS X, and Linux from GOG.com, Humble Store, and Steam. This is also offered as a free upgrade to those who already own the expansion, and they say it will come later this year to mobile devices. "Listening to our fans is really important to us here at Harebrained. With the Director’s Cut, once again we’ve reacted to their feedback and made many key improvements to the game, as well as added a bunch of new content and character development," said Jordan Weisman, co-founder of Harebrained Schemes and creator of the Shadowrun game universe. "It’s our biggest Shadowrun yet, and the perfect entry point for players with no prior Shadowrun experience." Here's more:

Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director’s Cut is Harebrained’s biggest Shadowrun title to date, and is the definitive Shadowrun RPG experience available on PC. The Director’s Cut adds a host of new content and enhancements to the original game – including 5 all-new missions, alternate endings, new music, a redesigned interface, team customization options, a revamped combat system, and more. Shadowrun fans will enjoy the immersive storytelling and exciting tactical combat that the franchise is known for, while players new to Shadowrun have the perfect opportunity to experience this legendary RPG setting for the first time.

Heavy Bullets Released

The Heavy Bullets website announces that this procedurally generated first-person shooter is now available. The game has completed an early access period, and they are thanking their early access patrons with an additional key. Here's a trailer and word: "Input from Early Access players influenced everything from changes to visuals and lighting through level progression to tweaks to the synchronization of the dynamic soundtrack from moment to moment. As a thank you to those early supporters, anyone that purchased Heavy Bullets while it was in Early Access will receive a giftable Steam key for the game in their Steam inventory to share Heavy Bullets with a friend." Here's more on the game:

Heavy Bullets arms the player with a simple yet stylish revolver and six devastatingly plump bullets with the goal of resetting the security mainframe to restore order and reap the rewards of a job well done. To succeed in the game, players will need to move carefully and make smart use of their bullets, items, and the environment as rushing into new areas is the fastest way to get killed in the untamed wild of the neon corridors.

Train Simulator 2015 on Steam

Dovetail Games announces that Train Simulator 2015 is now available on Steam, saying a retail boxed edition of the transport sim will follow. The new installment in the railroading series is compatible with add-on content for prior editions, and includes new features including TS Academy, a training area for new players. Training you scoff? "The cornerstone of this year’s game is encouraging players, both new and experienced, to master their machines," said Adam Lucas, Producer at Dovetail Games. "Learning to drive trains can be complex so the aim of including TS Academy is to get all players playing quickly and easily, giving them the opportunity to really master the task as they progress through the game." In further anticipation of scoffing, they also offer a We Are Rail Fans trailer narrated by Sean Bean (whose character survives the video) explaining the need for training. Continue here to read the full story.

Endless Legend Launches

Amplify Studios announces the release of Endless Legend on Steam, concluding the early access period for their strategy game. This community announcement has release notes for the version 1.0.0 patch that marks the occasion, and a new launch trailer shows things off. Here's word:

Another sunrise, another day of toil. Food must be grown, industries built, science and magic advanced, and wealth collected. Urgency drives these simple efforts, however, for your planet holds a history of unexplained apocalypse, and the winter you just survived was the worst on record. A fact that has also been true for the previous five.

As you discover the lost secrets of your world and the mysteries of the legends and ruins that exist as much in reality as in rumor, you will come to see that you are not alone. Other peoples also struggle to survive, to grow, and perhaps even to conquer.

You have a city, a loyal populace, and a few troops; your power and magic should be sufficient to keep them alive. But beyond that, nothing is certain… Where will you go, what will you find, and how will you react? Will your trail be one of roses, or of blood?

: Continue here to read the full story.

Road Redemption Early Access

Steam now offers early access to Road Redemption, offering a 10% discount for the next week on this spiritual successor to Road Rash. Here's a release trailer and a really rapid Road Redemption refresher:

Road Redemption takes place in a post-apocalyptic America, ruled by a brutal dictator. Without telling anyone, your gang leader has decided to head to the capital on a desperate assassination attempt. When the government catches him, the consequences for your gang, and everyone you know and love, will be devastating.

It's up to you and your fellow gang members to race across hundreds of miles of dangerous highways in order to track down your derelict leader before the government does. What you do next is up to you. Do you try to stop him in order to protect your family and friends from punishment, or do you join him in a risky attempt at ending the oppression once and for all?

Continue here to read the full story.

Battlefield Hardline Hotwire Multiplayer Gameplay Trailer

The Battlefield Blog offers a list of 10 things you "need to know" about multiplayer in Battlefield Hardline, the upcoming cops and robbers installment in the Battlefield series. This is accompanied by this new trailer showing off Hotwire multiplayer gameplay, which includes some moves not taught in the police academy. Continue here to read the full story.

Styx: Master of Shadows Trailer

A new trailer from Styx: Master of Shadows shows off more of the stealth/action game that's due for release next month. Here's what this teaches us: "Even though Styx is a gifted goblin - with six base skill trees, and one special tree to subvert, assassinate and sneak past the enemies - his journey through the Tower of Akenash definitely won't be a cakewalk. Enemies react promptly to the goblin's presence: stick your nose out of the shadows for half a second too long, make too much noise slicing the throat of a guard or bumping a piece of furniture you did not notice, and they will come investigate, search for you under tables, inside any containers or chests you may be hiding in, and call in other guards for help depending on their level of 'alertness'.": Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

  • Age of Wonders III on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Roundabout on Steam. Save 20%.
  • Sniper Elite 3 on Steam. Save 33%.

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

Evening Interviews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Trailer & Skill Trees

The Borderlands website now offers interactive skill trees for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, offering the chance to tinker with builds for the upcoming shooter between-quel. Word is: "Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel may not be out yet, but here’s your head start. We’re helping you plan out ahead of time some choice skills for the playable characters, as we’ve done with previous Borderlands games. Here’s an overview of each character’s skill trees before you dive in on your own." Gearbox also offers a new trailer where series favorites Sir Hammerlock and TORGUE introduce the game. Here's word on the clip: "Join Sir Hammerlock and TORGUE on an EXPLOSIVE tour of Pandora’s moon, Elpis, in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. MOON MONSTERS, deadly new foes, LASER WEAPONS, cryogenic elementals, LOW GRAVITY, erm, butt slams, AND MORE AWAIT YOU ON ELPIS! SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACE!" Continue here to read the full story.

Spacecom Launches

11 bit studios announces the release of Spacecom, saying their new strategy game can be found at most digital distributors, noting there are discounts on multi-key bundles since the game is primarily focused on multiplayer. Here's a launch trailer, and here's word:

Spacecom is a strategic-to-the-bone, starfleet command game with a heavy focus on multiplayer. It’s a battle of strategists in which deception, smart movement, and choices to battle decide victory or defeat. No coincidence, no luck. Spacecom pushes your ability to strategize with a focus on real-time tactics and planning. Use proven manoeuvres learned from military legends or devise your own plans. Dominate your enemies in planetary systems with up to six players per campaign. Most of all, you'll need a bright mind, cunning, and sound tactics. When the war begins, leave the little things behind and dive into austere soundscapes as you immerse yourself in starfleet command. From now on, what matters is your grasp of tactics and strategy, not how fast you can click. Spacecom is about creativity in planning, not complexity of game mechanics.

Continue here to read the full story.

HELL Announced

Matrix Games announces HELL, a fantasy-themed turn-based strategy game built on the Battle Academy engine they expect to release later this year for Windows PCs. Though they are just taking the wraps off this, they are already preparing for beta testing, urging all who are interested to sign up through the Slitherine beta portal. There are further details on the official product section along with a bunch of screenshots, and here's word:

The mythical land of Gilrand is such a safe and quiet place that knights and paladins are drinking beers all day long in the trendiest inns of the realm. But there is no better target for the devil than a charming and peaceful place. In the darkest side of this fantasy world, subterranean legions are just waiting for one sign from their hellish leader to start a monstrous invasion. Harmonious times are over and chaos gets underway!

In HELL, a new turn-based strategy game developed using the very flexible Battle Academy engine, players will be able to lead the sacred human forces from the “Order of Light” or the infernal troops from the “Demons of Hell” faction. Every unit has a unique function on the battlefield so players will have to judiciously mix the unique abilities and specific strengths of their magic and military squads to be victorious. Diversity is the key word in HELL, and this is supported by a vast array of units, various types of terrain and environments, myriad layers of tactical options, a long story-driven campaign, and a devilish multiplayer mode with cross-platform functionality.
This fabled multiplatform tactical game is now ready to enter the beta phase on PC. And we invite players to help us test it! By signing up for the beta, players will have a chance to be selected to be one of the lucky few who will be able experience HELL before release and help us with the final touches, ensuring a smooth release on PC and iPad later this year.

The Settlers - Kingdoms of Anteria Closed Beta

Those interested in checking out an early version of the latest Settlers game should head over to The Settlers website to register for closed beta testing of The Settlers - Kingdoms of Anteria. The news is accompanied by a new trailer where we can watch lead game designer Guido Schmidt demonstrate the game, offering more details. Here's word on the game and the testing:

The upcoming online PC game offers a persistent city building challenge with cooperative adventure gameplay and a comprehensive trading system within its community. To apply for the Closed Beta, please visit the official website: http://www.thesettlers.com.

In the Closed Beta players will be able to dive into the untamed lands of Anteria to experiment with gameplay mechanics including the persistent kingdom, the extensive trading system and the adventure gameplay, a new addition to The Settlers. The Closed Beta will serve as an opportunity for the studio to test in-game features and balance the game as needed.

Continue here to read the full story.

Resident Evil: Revelations 2 Trailer

The full version of the concept teaser trailer for Resident Evil: Revelations 2 is now available through CapCom Unity. Here's the challenge accompanying the video: "Fresh from TGS comes the FULL version of that spooky Revelations 2 Trailer, how many more hidden secrets can you find from watching it?" Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

  • Graal Seeker - Indiegogo. "Your quest for the Holy Grail begins now in this roguelike-like tactical RPG!" What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

Op Ed

PBS NewsHour - Why video gamers are speaking out against sexual harassment.
How did this harassment originate? Opinions from the gaming community are divided. Some say that the threats come from fringe users, a small and unpopular minority. Others suggest the backlash reflects gamers’ strong feelings about having developers such as Quinn disclose their personal relationships with reviewers. (This conversation is currently taking place on Twitter with the hashtag #GamerGate.)

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Interviews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

For years we thought we were the only household in the world using Tony Chachere's Famous Creole Seasoning, as it's so hard to find in stores. Just recently, however, TV commercials for this have started airing, suggesting it's now in wider distribution. The feeling that we have more of connection with this product than newcomers is diminished, however, by learning we've been pronouncing it wrong all along, as it is apparently sha-sherry, while our attempt to speak Creole had us calling is cha-share. Actually I still think it sounds more authentic our way, but I'm willing to stand corrected on this.

Here's an NFL Week Three discussion thread... it's possible there may even be discussion of this week's games!

Creole Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Freeway Fury 3.
Vegan Vampire.
Science: The little-known Soviet mission to rescue a dead space station.
Artificial sweeteners may leave their users glucose intolerant.
Images: The biggest comparison of sci-fi spaceships ever is complete at last.
How Many of These Movie Tropes Did You Actually Believe Were True? None.

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Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014

Star Citizen Passes $53M

A new Letter from the Chairman on the Roberts Space Industries website celebrates the news that Star Citizen has now attracted over $53 million in crowd-sourced funding (thanks 88fingers). The goal this adds is the Independent Arbitrator's Guild, a place for citizens to seek redress for grievances against corporations. Chris Roberts also lays out more stretch goals, and discusses the latest patch for the Dogfighting Module: "But in the end, we have been extremely happy with how the Arena Commander V0.9 rollout has gone. It looks like a lot of people are enjoying the race modes, and the updated mechanics are really showing what we meant when we said combat in Star Citizen was going to be skill-based! Our most urgent charges now are re-enabling private matches and addressing control issues; expect to hear more about both in the near future!"

Alien: Isolation Survivor Mode DLC Plans

SEGA announces a series of five Survivor Mode add-on packs that will be released for Alien: Isolation, either individually, or as part of the season pass for Creative Assembly's upcoming survival/horror shooter. Here's the skinny on the packs and the pass:

SEGA® of America, Inc., SEGA® Europe, Ltd. and Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products today officially announced Alien: Isolation™’s Survivor Mode, and a supporting series of five challenging and terrifying Survivor Mode add-on packs available to purchase from October 28, 2014, either individually or collectively through the Alien: Isolation Season Pass, now available from GameStop* in North America.

First revealed at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, Survivor Mode is an exciting new game mode for Alien: Isolation which challenges players to participate in a one-to-one confrontation with the universe’s deadliest killer, deep within the bowels of Sevastopol Station. With limited resources on each map and a hunter on the loose, players will need to take advantage of every item they find to help them complete a unique set of objectives which will ultimately lead to their escape.

“At this year’s E3 and a number of subsequent events, we put the Survivor Mode demo into the hands of the world’s press and consumers and the reception was incredible,” said Al Hope, Creative Lead on Alien: Isolation. “This is the game in its purest form; it’s you against the creature and it’s against the clock. It was just fantastic watching players leave the demo with a strange mix of joy, terror and relief at simply surviving, before jumping back in and try to tackle it in a different way to beat their time!”

Alien: Isolation will ship with a Survivor Mode demo featuring one playable map, ‘Basement’. On October 28th, the first of the five Survivor Mode add-on packs will be available for purchase featuring three new maps, each with their own set objective and challenges, a new playable character and a variety of enemy types between you and your escape. Over the following months, four more add-on packs will release, each featuring a new playable character, and a mix of new maps and game modes to challenge even the most proficient player.

Also available to purchase from launch will be the Alien: Isolation Season Pass, offering access to all five Survivor Mode add-on packs, at up to a 25% discount. All add-on content packs are scheduled to be released by March 2015.

Torment: Tides of Numenera Gameplay Video

The newly launched Torment: Tides of Numenera website now offers a new video with a first look at inXile's upcoming throwback RPG. Here's the description:

The video contains 3 minutes of pre-alpha footage from Torment: Tides of Numenera, which is currently wrapping up preproduction as inXile’s Wasteland 2 launches September 19, 2014. A cross-section of Torment gameplay, this first-glimpse shows an example of the narrative and choice-based focus of the upcoming cRPG.

Thanks to its more than 80,000 backers, Torment: Tides of Numenera continues the thematic legacy of the critically acclaimed Planescape: Torment. Set in Monte Cook's tabletop role-playing world, Numenera, the newest Torment asks: What does one life matter? With this #1 most funded Kickstarter video game, inXile is creating a rich RPG experience that explores deep, personal themes.

Continue here to read the full story.

The Crew Trailer

UbiBlog offers a new trailer from The Crew, showing off more of the upcoming driving game. The new Everybody, Drive Social! Trailer once again eschews the adverb in favor of action. Here's the deal: "In all its majesty of a massive US map and its action-driving splendor, The Crew comes down to one simple creed: NEVER DRIVE ALONE. The world of The Crew is simply too massive, too loaded with activities for it to be experienced alone. Take an in-depth look into what a day in the life of a player can look like when he or she spends their time exploring, collaborating, competing with thousands of other drivers in The Crew. Welcome to a world where everyone is a connected driver, and NEVER DRIVE ALONE." Continue here to read the full story.

World of Warships Video Diary

A new video developer diary from Wargaming takes a look at progress on World of Warships, their upcoming seafaring MMOG. This takes a class by class look at the ships in the game. Word is: "We are happy to unveil the second episode in a series of developer diaries for the anticipated World of Warships. 'World of Warships Developer Diaries # 2 Class-by-Class' provides a complete overview of three distinct vessels classes and explains how they impact each other, matching one type’s strength against another’s weaknesses. This 'rock, paper, scissors' approach affects their combat styles, brings balance to the combat and makes every battle a unique and thrilling experience." Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

  • French Indie Sale on Steam. Save up to 80%. Is that a baguette in your hand, or are you just happy about the sale?
  • Humble Valiant Bundle on Humble Bundle. Shadowman and a bunch of comics. Thanks nin.

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Assassin's Creed Rogue for PC Possible

This Uplay video from way back at Gamescom 2014 features Assassin's Creed Rogue associate producer Karl von der Luhe answering fan-submitted questions about the upcoming installment in the stealth/action series. Though the game has only been announced for consoles, but a question about platforms reveals the game may not be skipping PCs after all, as Karl says: "The game is being developed for 360 and PS3. We've heard a lot of response requesting a PC version so we'll be looking into that very soon." Thanks DSOGaming. Continue here to read the full story.

Linux Another World Released

Steam now offers a Linux edition of Another World, thanks to the work of Linux gaming hero Ryan "icculus" Gordon, offering another platform for Éric Chahi's classic adventure known in some circles as Outer World and Out of This World. There's an article on Cheese talks to himself that takes a closer look at the penguin-powered edition of the game, and two recent posts to the community forums by icculus tell us this now supports Steam Cloud and a couple of fixes have been pushed out. Thanks Ant via LinuxGames.

Legend of Grimrock 2 Next Month; Preorders Underway

Looks like the timer spotted on the Legend of Grimrock website was counting down to the announcement that preorders are underway for Legend of Grimrock 2. The dungeon-crawler sequel is due on October 15th, and word is those who make their commitment between now and then will get a 15% discount:

If you pre-order now, you get the game for a special -15% discount and both a Steam key and a standalone installer when the game is released on October 15th. Buying directly from us is the best way to support the developers!

You can also buy both Legend of Grimrock 1 and 2 for a special bundle price. Gain immediate access to Legend of Grimrock 1 and get the sequel on October 15th.

Xbox One Controller for Windows in November

The Xbox website announces that a wired version of the Xbox One controller will become available for Windows in November. This is listed with a USD$59.95 price tag, and die-hard Sidewinder fans may be offended to hear them refer to this as "the best PC controller Microsoft has ever produced." Here's word on the controller, and how it will also work with an Xbox one either with the wire or wirelessly:

We have good news for all of the controller-loving PC gamers out there: Soon, you’ll have a new option for bringing the comfort and precision of a controller to your computer with the Xbox One Controller + Cable for Windows.

Arriving in November 2014, the Windows 7 and Windows 8-compatible controller brings the feel of the Xbox One to your PC. The Xbox One Controller + Cable is the culmination of over 200 prototypes; featuring over 40 awesome innovations, it’s the best PC controller Microsoft has ever produced.

The Xbox One Controller + Cable for Windows is simple to use, plugging into any available USB slot and updating automatically. Want to switch it over to your Xbox One for some console gaming? No problem! The controller works on your Xbox One as well, either wirelessly or with the cable, making it more versatile than third-party PC controllers.

You can grab the Xbox One Controller + Cable for Windows this holiday season, at most major retailers or your local Microsoft Store.

The Evil Within TGS Trailer

The Bethesda Blog offers a new gameplay trailer from The Evil Within from this year's Tokyo Game Show, which gets underway this week. Here's word on the clip and its alternate Japanese version:

With Tokyo Game Show taking place this week (September 18 – 21) in the home city for Shinji Mikami’s team, Tango Gameworks, it only made sense to come up with a new gameplay trailer for The Evil Within. In our newest footage, the game’s primary antagonist Ruvik (voiced by Jackie Earle Haley), narrates and gives clues to the madness you will encounter.

And if you really want to get into the TGS spirit, you can watch the trailer for the Japanese version of the game (Psychobreak), here! As news and pictures come out of TGS, we’ll be sure to share them through our Twitter and Facebook pages.

With less than a month until the October 14th, expect plenty of terrifying updates for the game in the days and weeks ahead. If you’re ready to pre-order, head to www.theevilwithin.com.

Continue here to read the full story.

Gratuitous Space Battles 2 Trailer

Cliffski's Blog now offers a teaser trailer for Gratuitous Space Battles 2, the upcoming space strategy sequel. This is how this is presented: "This is the teaser trailer for Gratuitous Space Battles 2 (www.gratuitousspacebattles2.com) the space-strategy / ship-building game from indie studio Positech Games. Design your ships, build your fleets then pitch them in hands-off battles against the AI or other players. GSB2 is currently in development (as of September 2014). Footage is not final quality." Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

Morning Interviews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

Funny, it was not that long ago that I gave up setting my right mouse button to "move forward" in configuring for first-person shooters, and Batman just started a thread on the topic of FPS configs. I've gotten to the point where my set-up is almost perfectly vanilla, which makes it easy to set up new games, but Bats' approach is pretty different, which may have practical advantages. Thoughts? Are you a conformist like me or an innovator like Bats?

Controlled Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Infectonator Survivors.
Steel-Jack - Level Pack.
Robo Racing.
Science: Baby X, The Intelligent Toddler Simulation, Is Getting Smarter Every Day. Thanks j.c.f.
NASA picks Boeing, Space X to take American astronauts back to space.
Media: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Scottish Independence. NSFW.
Hilarious Footage of an Edited Intersection.

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